Can my employer deny my spouse benefits?

Married 8/15 had not changed my last name until 10/17 Started in March 2017 and added my husband

as spouse and we both were granted medical benefits by employer with them having my marriage

certificate. 2 months later, they send a third party questioning me asking for tax returns, bank

statements, affidavits. I provided all except tax returns because 2 years ago I filed single and filed extension for last year. They dropped my husband and said the only way to prove marital status is with tax returns. This went on back and forth for about a month now it is open enrollment but I don’t feel like they need to see my tax returns and feel harassed. Not all of the employees have been asked to provide their returns.

Asked on November 1, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your marriage certificate is your proof that you're married.  You would only need to produce your tax returns if you were claiming a "common law" or "informal marriage' which would require some evidence.  This is not your situation.  You are formally married, and your legal marriage certificate should suffice.  If you are the only employee being required to jump through these hoops, this may be some form of discrimination.  If you are a member of a protected class, then you may want to consider filing a claim with the Texas Human Rights Commission or EEOC.

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